Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
Hello all, I'm a liveaboard. =]

Attachment not found.

The alternator from the engine isn't cutting it anymore, I'm wanting to install 2 100w solar panels and a ~600w wind turbine. My question is, how does this setup look?

IS THIS ACCURATE?

Alternator -> Charger -> Battery Bank A
Wind Generator -> Wind Charge Controller -> Battery Bank A
Solar Panels -> Solar charge Controller -> Battery Bank A

Is this going to work?!

Thanks all!!!

<3~~~~~

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    Welcome to the forum.

    You've pretty much got it: each charge source connected to the battery bank has its own regulation. They will work in tandem without much trouble (some disagreement about SOC and/or actual Voltage/set points - usually not enough difference to worry about).

    Two 100 Watt panels aren't very much: about 10 Amps @ 12 VDC. How large is this battery bank?
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    Just finished 5 years of living aboard an MY in Victoria. take it from your picture that you are a "blow boater" and not a "stink potter" (terms of endearment I assure you). I would expect that the engine alternator is sized for the staring battery and has an internal regulator. One thing you can consider is installing an alternator with an external regulator, install a three stage regulator such as a Balmar ARS-5 three stage regulator (or equivalent) connected to the house bank, then use a Balmar Duo-Charge (or equivalent) to bleed of to the starting battery. The external regulator will keep the alternator at higher amperage until the battery bank is fully charged because it has the bulk, absorb and float functions. Of course this is only good when the engine is operating.

    You show that there is an alternator to charger to battery bank A. My understanding would be alternator to battery bank A.

    As for solar and wind, always a good option, especially if you are out a lot.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    Alternator -> Charger -> Battery Bank A
    Wind Generator -> Wind Charge Controller -> Battery Bank A
    Solar Panels -> Solar charge Controller -> Battery Bank A

    Everything correct except beware how the wind charge controller is actually wired internally. In effect, when you connect the wind turbine to the charge controller, the wind turbine is in-effect connected directly to the battery bank. The diversion charge controller is then connected across the battery terminals, and the controller controls how much charging power goes to the diversion loads (big resistors usually).
    Why should you care? Because if all charging sources aren't synchronized, then you could end up dumping solar and/or alternator power through the diversion controller which can cause a lot of badness/flames/tears.

    You also don't technically need a separate solar and wind controller, you can use a single controller for both, like the morningstar tristar series. There's a good diagram and writeup about how to connect solar + wind through a single controller here: http://scoraigwind.co.uk/installing-and-configuring-a-tristar-controller-for-a-wind-system/
  • sunbunnysunbunny Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    I lived on a sailboat for more than 4 years. We did not want to have to live with the vibration from the wind unit so we added a second large alternator and bigger batteries and a monitoring system. I realize not all boats have room for those options. It did simplify things by using the small alternator for the starting battery so two separate systems that could be inter-connected if needed.
    PV was not cost effective, then.

    HTH
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    Thanks so much all!!!

    Yeah total Sailor.
    How large is this battery bank?

    It's only two marine deep cycle batteries, I'm assuming around 80-100 amp hours each. I'm hoping to pull most of my loads direct from solar or the wind generator.
    You show that there is an alternator to charger to battery bank A. My understanding would be alternator to battery bank A.

    The alternator(SP?) connects to this:

    http://www.amazon.com/ProMariner-ProSport-Waterproof-Battery-Charger/dp/B001BSUR2Q/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1369525136&sr=8-5&keywords=marine+charger

    No idea what's going on there!
    Everything correct except beware how the wind charge controller is actually wired internally. In effect, when you connect the wind turbine to the charge controller, the wind turbine is in-effect connected directly to the battery bank. The diversion charge controller is then connected across the battery terminals, and the controller controls how much charging power goes to the diversion loads (big resistors usually).

    Okay so a diversion charge controller is 100% absolutely necessary when using a wind turbine??

    Can this diversion load hookup be something like a 1000w electric trolling motor?
    You also don't technically need a separate solar and wind controller, you can use a single controller for both, like the morningstar tristar series. There's a good diagram and writeup about how to connect solar + wind through a single controller here: http://scoraigwind.co.uk/installing-...a-wind-system/

    Is there no harm done if the wind generator has an internal charge regulator already?!
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    Okay so a diversion charge controller is 100% absolutely necessary when using a wind turbine??

    Yes; there has to always be some place for the power to go so that the turbine can never spin free - and fly apart.
    Can this diversion load hookup be something like a 1000w electric trolling motor?

    Not unless you want the motor to spin all the time; the diversion load must be always available (see above).
    Is there no harm done if the wind generator has an internal charge regulator already?!

    That depends on what they did for an internal regulator. It may sound silly, but the thing should have come with some wiring instructions that explain the correct way to hook it up and what is needed.

    You're right about the marine/RV batteries: usually around 90 Amp hours each for a total of 180. 10 Amps from solar should not be a problem on that.

    What the wind turbine puts out is another story; they are notoriously poor performers.
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »

    Checked this charger out on line. It's 120 VAC in 12/24 VDC out. Should not be anywhere near the alternator except where the batteries hook into the unit. So the configuration should be:

    Alternator to battery bank A

    120 VAC Charger - 12/24 VDC out to battery bank A. As soon as you disconnect shore power it becomes a pretty wall hanging until next you plug back into shore power, or unless you have a genet.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • ChrisOlsonChrisOlson Banned Posts: 1,807 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    What the wind turbine puts out is another story; they are notoriously poor performers.

    Actually, those small wind turbines are notoriously good performers on boats where the wind can actually get at them. That's IF you can put up with the noise and vibration from a wind turbine on your boat.
    --
    Chris
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    ChrisOlson wrote: »
    Actually, those small wind turbines are notoriously good performers on boats where the wind can actually get at them. That's IF you can put up with the noise and vibration from a wind turbine on your boat.
    --
    Chris

    There were a few wind turbines installed on boats in the marina in Victoria where we were. Some were quite quiet. The technology for the small wind turbines has progressed significantly over the years.

    We used one that was fitted on a 50 foot Maple Leaf. It was a hybrid in that it could also be converted into a mini-hydro generator by lowering it into the water with a separate attachment (take off the wind turbine and attach the water generator). It was actually quite quiet, didn't put out as much as a stand alone wind turbine but it did work.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    There were a few wind turbines installed on boats in the marina in Victoria where we were. Some were quite quiet. The technology for the small wind turbines has progressed significantly over the years.

    We used one that was fitted on a 50 foot Maple Leaf. It was a hybrid in that it could also be converted into a mini-hydro generator by lowering it into the water with a separate attachment (take off the wind turbine and attach the water generator). It was actually quite quiet, didn't put out as much as a stand alone wind turbine but it did work.

    Cheers

    Ernest

    Oh my gosh, do they still make that?! Brand?!!!!
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    Yes; there has to always be some place for the power to go so that the turbine can never spin free - and fly apart.



    Not unless you want the motor to spin all the time; the diversion load must be always available (see above).



    That depends on what they did for an internal regulator. It may sound silly, but the thing should have come with some wiring instructions that explain the correct way to hook it up and what is needed.

    You're right about the marine/RV batteries: usually around 90 Amp hours each for a total of 180. 10 Amps from solar should not be a problem on that.

    What the wind turbine puts out is another story; they are notoriously poor performers.

    Thanks so much!

    -Where can I get a diversion loader thingamabob?! Is that typically like a heater type thing? Is there another option, I don't want to melt a hole brought the boat, LOL ;)
    -What guage wire is best for the whole setup, 5-8 feet? Same from inverter -> Appliances??
    -I'm so confused how the alternator charges the battery then without shore power, do you think it has a built in charge controller?!

    I love you. :)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    Aquaair?

    http://www.ampair.com/yacht-generators/aquair-100

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    Thanks so much!

    -Where can I get a diversion loader thingamabob?! Is that typically like a heater type thing? Is there another option, I don't want to melt a hole brought the boat, LOL ;)

    Pretty much some form or resistance load connected through a dump controller. Look at the bottom of this TriStar spec sheet to see how it would be connected: http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/wind-sun/TSdatasheet.pdf
    -What guage wire is best for the whole setup, 5-8 feet? Same from inverter -> Appliances??

    Much more complex issue here. You may not want all the same size wire everywhere: it has to be size so that it can both handle the expected current and keep Voltage drop to a minimum. That means each run has to be calculated individually.
    -I'm so confused how the alternator charges the battery then without shore power, do you think it has a built in charge controller?!

    Any alternator on any internal combustion engine will have some type of Voltage regulator. These days most of them are built in to the alternator. They don't function the same as the charge controllers used in RE applications, but they will definitely prevent it from overcharging. Undercharging is usually the issue with tapping an alternator for a deep cycle; they usually don't have the right charging profile.
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    Oh my gosh, do they still make that?! Brand?!!!!

    No, not made any more, but the design is classic. Fine entry at the bow, sweeping aft. Everything is located on centerline including the shaft (had to make a hole through the rudder to remove the shaft to put in a new cutless bearing - cheaper and easier than removing the rudder). Since everything is kept on the centerline, it doubles quite well as a motor/sailor. Not a sailor myself, too much outside in the elements when standing a watch, but it was a solid, well built boat.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    That means each run has to be calucates individually.

    General rule?? The shorter the distance the smaller the wire? The longer the distance the bigger?
    ...Alternator

    So no charge controller is really necessary? I was just trying to prevent over-charging. It didn't have one before, that's why I was confused.

    Is it okay to 'start' the engine on two 100ah deep cycle AGM sealed
    Batteries?! I don't need a special "starter battery"?

    Thanks, your guys' help is so much appreciated.
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    Is it okay to 'start' the engine on two 100ah deep cycle AGM sealed
    Batteries?! I don't need a special "starter battery"?

    If it is a small diesel, having a separate starter battery may be redundant; however, the battery for starting will not be that expensive, and should you run down your house batteries, it is aways nice to be able to start your engine to recharge your batteries. Having said this, recommend having a separate starting battery.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    General rule?? The shorter the distance the smaller the wire? The longer the distance the bigger?

    Yes: larger diameter wire has lower resistance per length. The calculation has to include both the Voltage and the maximum current to be really effective. A basic Voltage drop calculator can be found here: http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm


    So no charge controller is really necessary? I was just trying to prevent over-charging. It didn't have one before, that's why I was confused.

    The alternator should already have a Voltage regulator on it; no additional one should be needed for that charging source, nor would it help.
    Is it okay to 'start' the engine on two 100ah deep cycle AGM sealed
    Batteries?! I don't need a special "starter battery"?

    If it works, it works. :D
    Technically deep cycle batteries are not designed to deliver the kind of sudden, short high current loads like a starter motor. By the same token automotive batteries aren't designed to deliver the kind of continual steady current demands that inverters draw. One will work in place of the other, just not optimally.
    Thanks, your guys' help is so much appreciated.

    That's why we're here. :D
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    The plot thickens..

    Just found this, Attachment not found.

    So, uhh, what does this mean?! It's got your basic inverter on there for 30 amps max input? That's all it is, which then powers the 120v battery charger? That's really... strange. I guess not if I slap some solar panels on there, or just leave the thing off for shore power?? :)

    So would I still be hooking up my computer/appliance/gadget loads to this 30 amp "main" line then, after hooking all the charge controllers and wind/solar units to the actual battery bank? I guess that saves me an inverter purchase (amiright ya??), but I think I'll still need a diversion load controller/charge controller for the wind gen turbine then.

    Thanks!! <3~.

    Attachment not found.

    Also, do you guys think I should buy new AGM batteries like UPG or Sun Xtender? Located here: http://www.solar-electric.com/12voagmba.html instead of these: http://www.sears.com/diehard-marine-deep-cycle-rv-battery-group-size-29hm/p-02827582000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

    Omg sorry for all the questions!

    Thanks!!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    No, that is a "Prosafe Zinc Saver":

    http://www.pmariner.com/productFeature.php?ProductNum=22033
    Protecting your Boat's Outdrive, Props and Metal Fittings while Maximizing Zinc Life...
    Slipping your boat with a shore power connection provides the conveniences and comforts of home when you're at the dock until you begin to notice zinc loss and corrosion of your boat's metal fittings, outdrives, trim tabs and virtually anything that is metal under the water line. The good news is most forms of corrosion can be eliminated with a galvanic isolator. ProMariner for over 30 years has led the industry with corrosion control products to include today's Zinc Saver 30 Isolators and the ProSafe 30 and 60 FS Galvanic Isolators. Solving most forms of typical corrosion issues can be achieved with a galvanic isolator which will maximize zinc life and keep your underwater fittings, drives, props, in good health versus premature zinc loss and prevent costly damage simply by not having a galvanic isolator on board to interrupt galvanic current flow with other boats sharing a common AC ground while connected to AC shore power while slipped at the dock.

    For Boats Manufactured in 2006 and Prior with a 30 amp shore power connection, a Zinc Saver 30 offers an enhanced solution and is designed to be installed in place of the older black box Zinc Saver 30, which did not have the capability to eliminate stray AC current as addressed with our newer UL approved Zinc Saver 30 shown above.
    Simply install in your on board green safety ground wire (between your AC inlet and your AC Panel) to separate your D.C. Bonding System from your Shore A.C Green wire.

    More or less, from the reading I did earlier, these are diodes (and failure detection circuitry) that stop the small DC currents from flowing between your under the water line metal (prop, shafts, pumps, engine cooling, etc.) from getting stray DC currents from shore power and having electrolysis eat away at your metal fittings (diodes block small voltage current flow, but still allow large current from from shorts and lightning to go to the below water grounds).

    Is that second picture on your boat too?

    That second picture appears to be an AC to DC battery charger (shore power based DC power).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    The plot thickens..

    Just found this, Attachment not found.

    So, uhh, what does this mean?! It's got your basic inverter on there for 30 amps max input? That's all it is, which then powers the 120v battery charger? That's really... strange. I guess not if I slap some solar panels on there, or just leave the thing off for shore power?? :)

    So would I still be hooking up my computer/appliance/gadget loads to this 30 amp "main" line then, after hooking all the charge controllers and wind/solar units to the actual battery bank? I guess that saves me an inverter purchase (amiright ya??), but I think I'll still need a diversion load controller/charge controller for the wind gen turbine then.

    Thanks!! <3~.

    Attachment not found.

    Also, do you guys think I should buy new AGM batteries like UPG or Sun Xtender? Located here: http://www.solar-electric.com/12voagmba.html instead of these: http://www.sears.com/diehard-marine-deep-cycle-rv-battery-group-size-29hm/p-02827582000P?prdNo=4&blockNo=4&blockType=G4

    Omg sorry for all the questions!

    Thanks!!

    Love boat stuff. Miss tinkering with on board systems.

    You have not shown us a picture of an inverter yet. No inverter, you are actually wasting your money on wind turbines and solar. The engine will keep these batteries charged.

    The galvanic isolator is a good investment for all boaters. It is installed in the ground wire from shore and before the AC power panel. You would be surprised at how many boats in marinas are "hot" boats pumping a lot of AC current into the water. This is one reason why it is not recommended to swim in marinas.

    Galvanic isolators need to have a remote monitor that indicates if it is working or not (ABYC). The one on your boat has the port for this. I had the identical one installed on our boat out east. The only piece of equipment that is better is an isolation transformer. This transformer completely isolates the boat from anything coming from ashore, expensive piece of kit though. Yes, you can hook up your electronics to the 120VAC.

    The battery charger is good, works on 120VAC only. When you leave the marina and go out, it becomes a wall fixture unless you have a generator on board that replaces shore power. This one can charge 3 different battery banks at the same time, good unit.

    I'd buy FLA batteries, less expensive, just keep an eye on the electrolyte levels once a month, spend the extra money on beer.

    Install a charge controller for the wind turbine. I'd also recommend putting a disconnect switch in as well. Some of these small wind turbines can have a brake installed as well.

    Have fun boating.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    BB. wrote: »
    No, that is a "Prosafe Zinc Saver":

    http://www.pmariner.com/productFeature.php?ProductNum=22033



    More or less, from the reading I did earlier, these are diodes (and failure detection circuitry) that stop the small DC currents from flowing between your under the water line metal (prop, shafts, pumps, engine cooling, etc.) from getting stray DC currents from shore power and having electrolysis eat away at your metal fittings (diodes block small voltage current flow, but still allow large current from from shorts and lightning to go to the below water grounds).

    Is that second picture on your boat too?

    That second picture appears to be an AC to DC battery charger (shore power based DC power).

    -Bill

    I mean that thing above it. That's what the photo was for.

    Oh man, so that entire "30 amp" power box thing is a ZINC SAVER? Wow.

    Dang. Guess I still an inverter. lol.

    Yeah, both are my photos.
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    Yes, you can hook up your electronics to the 120VAC.

    So it IS like an inverter then?

    /confused

    All I see is a 12v DC battery bank. Trying to get some home power, 120 VAC I'm assuming for my laptop, refrigerator, gps plugs, a few fans, speaker system (not marine, it's logitech), and some other toys.
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    So it IS like an inverter then?

    /confused

    All I see is a 12v DC battery bank. Trying to get some home power, 120 VAC I'm assuming for my laptop, refrigerator, gps plugs, a few fans, speaker system (not marine, it's logitech), and some other toys.

    The panel above the galvanic isolator is the boat AC power panel, the same as a house.

    The Mains 30Amp is the main cct breaker, from there it supplies power to the battery charger, outlets, and accessories. The outlets are 120VAC. This is the same as in a house.

    It is not an inverter, totally different animal the inverter is.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    The panel above the galvanic isolator is the boat AC power panel, the same as a house.

    The Mains 30Amp is the main cct breaker, from there it supplies power to the battery charger, outlets, and accessories. The outlets are 120VAC. This is the same as in a house.

    It is not an inverter, totally different animal the inverter is.

    Cheers

    Ernest

    OH so that works when I plug in the shore power only? I thought it was connected to the battery bank, why I was confused.

    ***LAST STUPID QUESTION: Do I need a circuit breaker when I hook up a 120VAC inverter to the 12v battery bank, or can I just plug my 5 loads into the inverter with an extension cable / strip plug??!
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    Circuit breakers and fuses are to protect the wiring (for the most part). So anytime you have a wire leaving a "high current source" (like your battery bank) and going to a load (or even a battery charger, etc.), the wire sized (minimum) is based on ~1.25x the planned maximum current (i.e., 12 amps * 1.25 nec derating = 15 amp wire). And you would pick a breaker/fuse to protect that wire (i.e., 15 amp breaker to protect a 14 AWG wire).

    You can go with heavier wiring (i.e., 12 or 10 awg)--And many times that is a very good idea with low voltage DC systems (such as 12 volt battery banks). You can only have ~0.5 volts of drop on the wire run and if the wire goes very many feet, you should use a heavier wire to keep voltage drops low. Note, you can still keep the 15 amp breaker on a 10 amp wire--No harm there.

    Boating/Yatch specifications tend to be a bit less conservative vs NEC (US National Electric Code)--But both are pretty good starting points for your system design.

    Also, you probably want a breaker on your inverter DC input anyway--Many smaller inverters take ~6 watts (or even more) just "turned on and no loads". You don't that inverter burning power when there are no AC loads turned on.

    Towards that end, MorningStar makes a very nice 300 Watt True Sine Wave inverter for 12 volt systems that has some very nice remote on/off and "search" modes that can dramatically reduce idle power usage. You should take a look at it and compare against other options.

    Just to give you an idea of what current you are looking at--The above 300 watt inverter can supply 600 watts for ten minutes:
    • 600 watts * 1/10.5 battery cutoff * 1/0.85 inverter efficiency * 1.25 NEC derating = 84 amp branch circuit minimum (if you plan on a lot of 600 watt loads)

    Or 1/2 that size branch circuit if you plan on 300 watt loads maximum (or less).

    In general, you probably want a small inverter (recharging portable tools, laptops, dvd player, etc.). Big inverters are expensive, power hungry, and in TSW, not very cheap.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    NOMN wrote: »
    OH so that works when I plug in the shore power only? I thought it was connected to the battery bank, why I was confused.

    ***LAST STUPID QUESTION: Do I need a circuit breaker when I hook up a 120VAC inverter to the 12v battery bank, or can I just plug my 5 loads into the inverter with an extension cable / strip plug??!

    Bill gave you a good explanation cct breakers, etc. The small inverters should give you install instructions that would include fusing, etc.

    Regarding your 12V system, you should have a power panel that controls running lights, anchor lights, VHF radio and the likes somewhere on your boat. This is the panel that is connected to the second battery bank.

    Even if you don't hook up an inverter, I would recommend a battery monitor so you can monitor the SOC of the house battery bank. A battery monitor gives a readout that you can use to maintain your battery bank when you are plugged into shore power. Nice to know when you have to run the engine to charge the batteries. A simple, inexpensive solution is to hook up an analog voltmeter to the house battery bank, and install it where it is convenient and easy to monitor.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!
    Yes; there has to always be some place for the power to go so that the turbine can never spin free - and fly apart.
    ....
    What the wind turbine puts out is another story; they are notoriously poor performers.

    Just a small quibble: There has to be some place for the power to go, but that does not have to be provided by a diversion type charge controller. The diversion can also be done by a voltage clipper which is separate from the CC itself. Midnite Solar has such a product, and their Classic CC is also particularly good for use with a wind or hydro turbine.

    And, enlarging on what you said, the diversion load can be either a load bank that heats resistors with no useful output but is always available, or an opportunity load like water heating or pumping or other useful output, or a combination of the two. But together they need to be able to take the whole output of the generator at max power in the highest wind before the wind turbine furls, feathers, or otherwise shuts down, with the CC not sending any of it to the batteries.

    But Coot's last point makes it less justifiable to spend money on it all in the first place. :-(
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    Just a small quibble: it's still a place for the power to go, no matter how it is handled. That would include allowing it to "go" into the turbine and cause it to spin to pieces hurling shrapnel all over the place. :p
  • NOMNNOMN Registered Users Posts: 10
    Re: Hi All! :) Living on a boat, alternator/wind/solar - how do I connect them?!

    So with the purchase of this little beast: http://www.solar-electric.com/mnclassic.html

    I wouldn't need a diversion load charge controller, or anything else along those lines, that would safely handle and charge BOTH the generated loads of my ~200w solar panel setup and 600 watt max wind turbine?!

    Or this one:
    http://www.solar-electric.com/tr60amp12244.html
    http://scoraigwind.co.uk/installing-and-configuring-a-tristar-controller-for-a-wind-system/

    Which is better?

    And I think that 300w inverter is too small for my 500w estimated loads, unless I'm missing something here..

    THE BASS, MAN!!

    Attachment not found.

    0_o
Sign In or Register to comment.